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Washington, DC — Today the House of Appropriations committee approved a provision that prevents the Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with state medical cannabis programs. The Amendment was offered by Representative David Joyce, a Republican from Ohio. This amendment had previously been offered by California Representative Dana Rohrabacher, but this is the first time the amendment has been offered and approved at the committee level.
Although this amendment has been part of annual appropriations packages since 2014, it has frequently been blocked by House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions (R-TX), who determines which amendments are or are not in order. Typically, this amendment is introduced later in the Appropriations process by floor amendments or through actions by the Senate.
“We could not be more thrilled with the efforts of Congressman Joyce and those involved who secured protections for medical cannabis patients in the House FY19 Appropriations bill “said Steph Sherer, Executive Director for Americans for Safe Access. “With our annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference occurring in D.C. next week, this vote gives a lot of momentum to our members coming to Capitol Hill to push for a permanent legislative solution.”
The final Appropriations bill for 2019 must be passed by the Senate, and signed into law by the President. The Senate has previously passed the amendment.
Americans for Safe Access has been working to ensure the inclusion of this amendment each year since it first appeared in 2003. As part of their continued advocacy efforts, Americans for Safe Access will be hosting their 6th Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference on May 22-24, 2018, in Washington, DC. ASA members from all over the country will come to Washington, DC to discuss medical cannabis reform with their elected officials.